Published in the Rains County Leader on March 7, 2017:
David and I didn’t do much this weekend. It’s not that we accomplished nothing of value. We went to Home Group on Friday night, we met friends for breakfast on Saturday, and we went to church and a baked potato lunch on Sunday. I did a little laundry, David cleaned both of Kitty’s litter boxes, and I learned to make a book trailer on my computer. Other than that, we binged.
I know what you’re thinking, but we didn’t settle in with packages of Oreos and gallons of Blue Bell. Instead, we spent many hours watching Defiance, a science fiction western series.
Binge-watching isn’t all that new, but it sometimes takes a while for the trends to reach Emory. We live in a rather low-lying area with lots of trees around us, and until recently our only option for Internet was a WiFi hot spot card. That was adequate for checking email and Facebook, but there wasn’t nearly enough capacity for one of the streaming media players that are so popular now. For the uninitiated, a streaming media player is a cross between satellite TV and Redbox. The user pays a monthly fee, and his or her television is connected through the Internet to an entire electronic library.
For the last several years, David has checked frequently on the availability of improved Internet coverage in our area without luck. Recently, he talked a provider into coming out once again to see if their new and improved coverage reached our house. It did, and although it’s not the fiber optic cable access we had in Florida, we are now connected to the electronic world with enough power to catch up on all the movies, TV shows, and other marvels we have been missing.
During the past month, we’ve watched several movies. Then, this past week, David began to look through TV shows, and he began watching Defiance. Of course, I watched, too. It wasn’t great, but it was entertaining enough in a weird way – an interesting cast of characters, most of whom were extraterrestrials, and many of whom died and came back to life through various SciFi means. And like potato chips or M&Ms, you can’t watch just one.
The shows are set up in a way that makes it hard to find a place to stop. There are no commercials, and there is only about a fifteen-second break between episodes. Like many habits, binge-watching is progressive. The first night we watched one or two episodes, then four, then we spent ten hours on Saturday glued to the TV, only pressing “Pause” for quick bathroom breaks or trips to the kitchen for more snacks.
This particular series only lasted for three seasons from 2013 to 2015. We finished the final episode mid-afternoon on Sunday, so we were able to salvage the last few hours of the weekend. If we disappear sometime in the near future, don’t file a missing persons report. You’ll probably find us in front of the TV, watching the fourteen seasons of NCIS.